Yom Kippur aka Day of Atonement
Yom Kippur is probably the most important holiday of the Jewish year. Many Jews who do not observe any other Jewish custom will refrain from work, fast and/or attend synagogue services on this day. Yom Kippur occurs on the 10th day of Tishri which, on the Gregorian calendar, generally falls in September or October. The holiday is instituted at Leviticus 23:26
The Portrait: The name “Yom Kippur” means “Day of Atonement”. It is a day set aside to “afflict the soul,” to atone for the sins of the past year. On Yom Kippur, the judgment entered in these books is sealed. This day is, essentially, one’s last appeal, one’s last chance to change the judgment, to demonstrate repentance and make amends.
Fulfillment in Jesus: The Day of Atonement was given to Israel as a means to have their sins covered on one special day of the year. Yom Kippur literally means in Hebrew, ‘The Day of Covering.’ This was the one day that the High Priest entered into the Holy of Holies to offer sacrifices for atonement for the entire nation of Israel before God Almighty. God set in place what would be needed for the atonement of sins, and we find this in:
Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.
But the Day of Atonement was but a shadow of that which was to come, namely the final atonement that would be purchased with the pure and perfect blood of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. We find this in:
Hebrews 9:11-12 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
As Christians, we can celebrate Yom Kippur by acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ’s complete sacrifice for us, and that His sacrifice does not have to be continually repeated as we also find in:
Hebrews 9:13-14 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?